Two years ago, central Italy was struck by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake. The damage was extensive. 296 people lost their lives, and more than 4,000 were displaced in the regions of Lazio, Marche, Umbria and Abruzzo.
Amatrice was one of the worst hit towns. Sitting almost a kilometre above sea level and surrounded by beautiful scenery, the town – which was devastated by the earthquake – is home to over 2,600 people.
IsraAID’s emergency response team arrived less than 36 hours after the earthquake hit, bringing search and rescue professionals to locate survivors and psychosocial support specialists to help mitigate the long-term traumatic impact of the earthquake on Amatrice’s population. Since then, IsraAID has been committed to supporting the long-term recovery of Amatrice and the surrounding area.
In partnership with Legacoop Lazio, IsraAID has launched a new program developing the mental health and psychosocial support capacity of the community in Amatrice. Through trainings for service providers and psychological support for community members, IsraAID & Legacoop are having a profound impact on the community's resiliency and mental health provision.
Quotes from participants:
ALBERTA - social worker
“I was called to be in Amatrice in November 2016, when the days were very chaotic - I went towards the unknown, for the first time in my life.”
Then luckily there was the IsraAID experience... only now I understand what I want to be for the affected people. I want to be a virtual "pillow", where they can rest a sore head, where they can throw punches, where they can cry, get angry, breathe ... where they can find even a small light that helps them to start again.
I am very happy because the workshops of IsraAID will help me in my private life, and above all professionally, the small toolbox that I brought with me to Amatrice is now filled, every time we meet, it keeps filling with precious things."
MASSIMO - social worker from Calabria
"Before Amatrice, I asked myself the same question a thousand times: what is the use of psychological support when nature devastates your life and takes your soul away? ...
But now I understand. You have helped us understand how things shoud be done, how to manage our emotions and those of the people facing situations of natural calamity."
ANNA – social worker and head of the project Legacoop Sociali Lazio
"The earthquake is a life event now; we hear people saying before and after the earthquake. This training has helped enhance the resources of the cooperatives, facilitating new paths and the network between the staff. Helping people, is absolutely soomething in the DNA of the cooperative. We are doing it better with IsraAID."
Alberta - social worker
Massimo - social worker from Calabria
Anna - social worker, Legacoop Sociali Lazio